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Senate Democratic leaders condemned Wednesday the Senate's impending vote on forced arbitration. Photo: CSPAN.

Senate Democratic leaders condemned Wednesday the Senate's impending vote on forced arbitration (when corporations require consumers to waive their right to sue), pointing to the fallout from recent scandals surrounding Equifax's security breach and Wells Fargo's fake-account scam as evidence of how the clause hurts people.

What they're protesting: Republican leaders have been working to secure votes to overturn a July Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule that protects consumers from being denied their day in court, which Schumer described as "making no sense."

  • Timing: The Republicans' move to roll back the CFPB rule comes a week before Wells Fargo and Equifax executives will testify in court.
  • GOP's thinking: By getting this vote out of the way before the hearings, Republicans can avoid gifting financial companies with forced arbitration clauses while Wells Fargo and Equifax execs get grilled in court.

Quotes from Dem leaders:

  • Senate Minorty Leader Chuck Schumer: "We are simply urging our colleagues to say no to immunity to Wells Fargo, Equifax, or anyone else who does such horrible management deeds. We believe in allowing people to sue."
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren: "Forced arbitration clauses are a nasty surprise buried in the fine print that let credit card companies or big banks cheat people and get away with it. And that's wrong."
  • Patrick Leahy: "Wells Fargo wouldn't have gone on as long as they did if they thought people could go after them... [In the end] the average person and the consumer gets hurt, and the CEO still gets millions in salaries every year. They're not hurt."

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."